Monday, August 23, 2010

To Cleanse...

Spring and Fall are those transitional times when I hear from many people wanting to cleanse. Everyone has their reasons, such as doing a cleanse first and then creating some new healthy habits. Some people just want to see results right away and want to do something drastic to motivate them into healthier eating. Some want to go deep and get out toxins and impurities that show up as cellulite or blemishes or fatigue. Some want to feel more connected to Spirit. I have done many cleanses myself for healing. I was sure that if I could get the stubborn offenders out of my system I would finally achieve the health I was looking for. It worked, but I had to do a lot of trial and error to figure out what was the best cleanse for what was going on.

Remember ladies - men have a much easier time cleansing. Please do not go overboard and try to do a cleanse marathon. I realize there will be some who do their own cleansing routines and think perhaps 40 days would be reasonable. It's not. It's a whole lot, and probably too much without some kind of medical supervision. 5 days is reasonable and can feel like you did a marathon.

The ever popular master cleanse is really just a rest from eating. It doesn't go in deep and sweep anything out but it can alkalize the system to some degree (provided you don't go overboard with the maple syrup...) so you will feel better and obviously lose a few pounds because you are not eating anything. If you go back to how you were eating before - voila, the pounds will pounce back quite quickly as well. By not taxing your system with digestion you can go deeper into meditation practices and this simple cleanse became popular in many yoga circles.

Digestion does take a lot of energy and can slow down the benefits of certain herbs. There are herbal cleanses such as Dr. Shulze's that go much deeper and clear out impurities from your liver, kidney's and digestive tract than other cleanses. His formula are all organic and very potent. The combinations of herbs he is using are not his own formula and I'm sure you can find very similar systems to his as they have been passed down and refined since ancient times. I have found these cleanses to be fantastic for cleaning out. With each round I did, I felt better and better. (and the cleansing process got easier.) Medications and pollution can get lodged deep in the tissues and the liver/kidney cleanses can pull them out layer by layer. Your body doesn't release everything all at once. Be patient and do take the intestinal formulas along with his other cleanses so toxins don't sit around for long. Superfood is super.

Short simple home fasts of just brown rice for example are not something I have done first hand but have had people tell me are wonderful for deepening their Spiritual practice as well as giving the body a rest from so many different foods. Brown rice is full of nutrients, protein and complex carbs so it will sustain you better than a juice fast. Plus brown rice bonds to toxins and carries them out of the body and the fiber is mildly cleansing for the digestive tract. Chewing your rice until there is really nothing left but air in your mouth (somewhere between 100 and 1000 chews - not kidding....) will give you outrageous energy and stimulate your immune system. Pair it with a brothy soup like miso and you have a great recipe for a Spiritual retreat. Probably why Monks ate this sort of thing with vegetables as an almost daily practice. They also use tofu to cool sexual desires.

Speaking of tofu, it is a damp promoting food. In Chinese medicine foods can create dampness or dryness or be neutral. If you have a damp condition than damp foods can create symptoms. (yeast, runny nose, cough, etc.) One of the most life giving foods are the mineral rich sea vegetables. They also contain trace minerals, protein and what science is now calling co-factors of certain foods that enhance our ability to utilize the big groups like vitamins. I love sea vegetables and some like Dulse, Nori, Arame and Hiziki are more suitable for helping eliminate dampness while Kombu, Wakame, or Sea Palm contribute to dampness. Sea vegetables are somewhat cleansing on their own and great to include in a simple diet of whole grains and vegetables for a cleansing that you can do for much longer than a fast.

Be well!!

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